Miami and Florida Keys Family Vacation

by jerseygirl on June 1, 2015 · 7 comments

pool hawks cayLast week, my family and I spent an extra long weekend in Miami and the Florida Keys. I have always wanted to go there and for some reason have never been. Well, it was a little last minute planning but we spent one night in Miami and three glorious nights in Duck Key. Of course, I made sure I tasted some local cuisine while I was there.

We arrived in Miami and stayed at the Hampton Inn downtown. It was a perfect location as I wanted to get some Miami city life in as we were staying “at the beach” for 3 days in Duck Key. The hotel had a nice pool, our suite was spacious, it included a great breakfast and the location was wonderful.

Our flight arrived at 12:30 so the first thing we did in Miami was grab some lunch. We headed to Little Havana and went to Versailles. I love Cuban food. We ordered several things but the Cuban coffee and the sampler platter of Cuban specialties were two of my favorite things.


cuban platter

cuban coffeeI also stopped at their bakery on the way out. We just had to try the alfajores. These mouthwatering cookies sandwiched with dulce de luche in the middle were delicious.


After checking into our hotel, we decided to take a ride to Miami beach. We walked around and it was beautiful.

kids Miami beach

The next day we headed to the keys. Over four hours later after hitting traffic and wanting to pull my hair out, we arrived. But the ride was definitely worth it. We stayed at Hawks Cay, which was a beautiful resort that exceeded our expectations! The view of the lagoon was a gorgeous site. We loved swimming in there.


My family and I loved this resort so much. We can’t wait to go back.  We had a small two bedroom villa that was on the water.

hawks Cay

villaOur villa had four porches and balconies. It was the perfect place to relax with a glass of wine and watch the gorgeous Florida Key sunsets. I just couldn’t get enough of them because they looked different everyday. Since we were there on Memorial day, our flag with a sunset in the background was extra special.   flag sunset


We sampled lots of local food. I ate some sort of fish every night. Florida Key restaurants are very casual but the food is fresh and good. One of my favorite restaurants we visited was Kings Seafood Market and Restaurant. It was a seafood place but had lots of Cuban choices too. I loved their shrimp cerviche. I also had a mahi mahi sandwich that was simple and fresh.


fish sandwichWe also visited Sparky’s Landing which was right on the water. Great food and good views. The tuna was fabulous and I tried my first piece of authentic key lime pie. I have always loved key lime pie but in the Florida Keys it tastes even better.


key lime pie

I had to try more than one key lime pie so we also got a few pieces to go from Sweet Savannah’s which is a cute little ice cream and dessert place. I don’t think I can pick the better pie because they were both good, just a little different from each other.


I also tried hogfish which is a Florida Key specialty. It is a mild white fish that was stuffed with crabmeat and topped with a lime sauce. I also had a key lime daiquiri at The Island Fish Company. Both were delicious.


Okay so enough on the food. Now to the creatures we saw. My son and husband went on a chartered boat  from Catch em All.   Captain Jeff Shelar was wonderful and they caught a 100 pound tarpon but unfortunately I don’t have a good picture of it. I do have a photo of the barracuda they caught. Now that is a fish tale!


My daughter got to pet the cute little turtle that hung out at our resort.

Nicole turtle

There were also ugly creatures that looked like Godzilla walking around the resort. Did you ever see an iguana that looked like this. Some tail, right?


My kids were entertained 24 hours per day by the lizards, pools, and activities. We also made a trip to Sombrero beach which is right in Marathon. It was so pretty!

Sombrero beach

We had just a great vacation and I can’t wait to go back to south Florida again. We were all smiles even the day we had to leave.

family Hawks Cay

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sues June 1, 2015 at 9:50 pm

This looks like such a happy vacation and your family is so adorable! Also, I want all of that food…


Joanne June 2, 2015 at 7:33 am

Awww so fun!! Everything looks so beautiful. The perfect getaway!


Ciao Chow Linda June 2, 2015 at 12:44 pm

You went to Versailles! That place is a Visual and culinary overload, isn’t it? I love the beautiful beaches of the key you chose and now I want to fit that into my next trip to South Florida. Great vacation for your family.


Joyce June 2, 2015 at 9:43 pm

Great pictures! I wanted to be there.

Thanks for sharing!!



Big Daddy Dave June 3, 2015 at 10:17 am

Jersey Girl, Great vacation post! My better half and I stayed one night at Hawks Cay on our explore the Florida Keys vacation a couple of years ago. We swam with the dolphins and she loved it! You’re right about the miserable drive from Miami…it seems to go on for ever and the traffic is terrible. We visit periodically as our daughter lives there. The key lime pie in the keys can’t be equaled elsewhere, that’s for sure! Great photos and great looking food too… Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


Lisa @ Whisk & Cleaver June 4, 2015 at 11:23 pm

What a fun trip! The food looks amazing and the water is so gorgeous. Fun fun fun!


Beach Giraffe September 4, 2016 at 5:35 am

Amazing blog! So much fun and pleasure. Wish everyone have such beautiful times.


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